It is often easy to manage people who directly report to you, however, transversal manager requires unique management styles. It involves influencing and dealing with people who don’t work on your team but whose skills may be needed to complete a project.

While it’s a challenging approach to managing people, the transversal management style can help break the existing organizational silos. It allows managers to handle projects despite the complexity, and meet project deadlines and goals.

In my role as the Initiative Leader in the Supply Chain department at Procter and Gamble, interacting with people from various departments was essential for project completion. Leading large projects often involved working with people who did not report directly to me. And dealing with people is not simple, it involves influencing skills, and a bit of politics at times.

In a transversal project, utilizing approaches such as RACI at the beginning of the project can keep everyone on track and prevent many headaches down the line.

RACI stands for:

  • Responsible – the person responsible for completing a task
  • Accountable – leader or manager who designates tasks and holds people accountable
  • Consulted – stakeholders who are impacted by the project’s outcome and must be consulted throughout the process
  • Informed – people who should stay in the loop throughout the course of the project

Creating and implementing RACI charts helped me:

  • Define the various project stakeholders involved in the project
  • Assign roles and responsibilities
  • Clarify expectations upfront

Today, more companies are hiring Chief Transformation Officers (CTOs) in order to drive their organizations forward and become successful.

The Power of Influence in Transversal Management

While a transversal manager may not communicate with many departments and teams that don’t report to them directly, it is essential to build consistent relationships at all times.

In Influence – The Psychology of Persuasion, Robert Cialdini discusses seven principles of persuasion that drive behavior in human beings.

Consider a midsized company that sells hardware parts. In a traditional model, siloed teams make supply change decisions. The decisions are so compartmentalized that the whole scope of the supply chain, including the various interdependencies, is missing.

In situations such as these, a transversal manager bridges the gap between various departments and brings the company together as one in the decision-making process.

As humans, we possess an innate obligation to be dutiful to authoritative figures. Cialdini’s principle of “Authority” ties into how people in powerful positions can utilize persuasiveness to their advantage. When done right, transversal managers can be role models that people look up to and follow.

A transversal manager work is to engage with everyone on their team and inspire them to embody work ethics that bring change and transformation. In short, employees are essentially an extension of the transversal manager hard work and efforts, reflected in the company’s overall performance and results.


Organizations are hardwired networks of teams that are often working as silos. Transversal Managers act as a glue that binds various teams together. Utilizing their exceptional influencing skills, Transversal Managers can take advantage of their authority, experience, and skills to create synergy between teams while working towards the successful execution of transformation projects.

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Isabelle Grenier – Acepoint Consulting President